(Trigger warning: Descriptions of violence.)
Four people, including three women, were allegedly tied to a pole, assaulted with hot iron rods, and forced to eat human excreta after being accused of witchcraft in Jharkhand's Dumka district, The Indian Express reported.
The incident occurred on Sunday, September 25, at Aswari village under the Saraiyahat police station limits.
The complaint filed by one of the women stated that she and her husband were first beaten up over 'witchcraft' on September 24, after which they fled.
"We were pushed out of our homes and called dayans (witches)."A woman who was assaulted
However, the perpetrators came back on September 25, and this time, they beat up two of her relatives, too, she alleged.
"We were made to eat human excreta and our bodies were burnt with iron rods."
The complainant said that the police were informed an hour later, and they were admitted to the community health centre in Saraiyahat. Two of them were, however, referred to the hospital in Deoghar for better treatment as their "condition was serious."
The Saraiyahat police station incharge Vinay Kumar has corroborated the complainant's allegations, saying, "The inhuman torture of the four people started on Saturday night and continued till Sunday," Hindustan Times reported.
"Some villagers first thrashed them after branding them as witches. Thereafter, they filled human excreta in a bottle and forced them to consume it."Vinay Kumar, Saraiyahat police station incharge
The police have registered a First Information Report (FIR) against six people under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including attempt to murder and several sections of the Prevention of Witchcraft Act.
Dumka SP A Lakra said that the perpetrators belong to the same village as the victims and the police suspect a property dispute or illness behind the crime. "However, the motive is yet to be ascertained," the SP said.